Insurgents Seize Iraqi City of Mosul as Security Forces Flee

Map of northern Iraq

I’ve been watching cable TV news for any sign of this story. Fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an al-Qaeda offshoot, overran most of Mosul yesterday. Iraqi soldiers and police officers abandoned their posts, in some instances discarding their uniforms as they sought to escape the advance of the insurgents.

Mosul is Iraq’s third-largest city. ISIS already controls Fallujah and part of Ramadi in Anbar Province. The same group has taken over several cities in eastern Syria. Today it is being reported that a half million people have fled Mosul and ISIS has seized Iraq’s biggest oil refinery in Baiji. Other advances have been reported in areas west and south of the city of Kirkuk.

The government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has announced a “general mobilization” of the country’s security forces and asked parliament to declare a state of emergency. He is asking the Kurdish Peshmerga forces for help. Meanwhile, reports indicate that ISIS has captured helicopters and significant stocks of U.S. – made weapons.

It would take a long time to list all of the errors that led to this point. Sunni insurgents, bought off by U.S. taxpayers in the so-called “surge” during the Bush administration, are back because the al-Maliki regime didn’t give them any concessions. Last year, they raided Abu Ghraib prison and liberated up to a thousand fighters. In January, they took Fallujah. Iraqi Army counter-attacks have failed thus far.

More info:
One Of The World’s Scariest Terrorist Groups Now Controls Major City In Iraq
ISIS: The group too extreme for al-Qaida that is taking over Iraq
ISIS Now Controls A Shocking Percentage Of Iraq And Syria

UPDATE:
ISIS Militants Seize Iraqi City Of Tikrit

BAGHDAD (AP) — Al-Qaida-inspired militants seized effective control Wednesday of Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, expanding their offensive closer to the Iraqi capital as soldiers and security forces abandoned their posts following clashes with the insurgents.

UPDATE:
Iraq Asked The White House For Air Support Against Militants — But They Said No

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki asked last month for the U.S. to consider carrying out air strikes against its growing insurgency and the White House turned him down, The New York Times reports.

UPDATE:
Iraqi Kurds ‘fully control Kirkuk’ as army flees

“The whole of Kirkuk has fallen into the hands of peshmerga,” Kurdish spokesman Jabbar Yawar told Reuters. “No Iraq army remains in Kirkuk now.”

UPDATE:
President Obama Puts Military Option on the Table With Iraq

  1. #1 by cav on June 12, 2014 - 3:48 pm

    Oops, I wonder what teachers and firefighters might have done with those pallets of trillion of dollars.

  2. #2 by Nathan Erkkila on June 12, 2014 - 4:41 pm

    So is this a war we won?

  3. #3 by Richard Warnick on June 12, 2014 - 4:55 pm

    DSWright on FDL:

    With the US initiated fall of former Iraq President Saddam Hussein came a power vacuum that has now been filled by the precise people the Bush Administration used to justify the invasion of Iraq in the first place. Bitter irony does not even begin to describe this.

    Josh Marshall, TPM:

    The simple and fundamental fact is that this is the fallout of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Any analysis that doesn’t grapple with and accept that basic fact is just wrong and possibly dishonest to boot. It’s not about how President Obama organized the exit from Iraq, whether he did it well or poorly. And yet, President Bush isn’t president anymore. It’s not his problem. It’s President Obama’s problem. And he has to figure out – decide on – the least worst way to deal with what’s happening.

  4. #4 by Larry Bergan on June 12, 2014 - 9:56 pm

    It’s Clinton’s fault because he didn’t listen to the, “we need another Pearl Harbor event” crowd. :)

  5. #5 by cav on June 12, 2014 - 10:10 pm

    Gone will be the days of rapacious insanity and unaccountability.(snerk)

    Now what say we don’t get fooled again!?!

  6. #6 by Richard Warnick on June 13, 2014 - 9:47 am

    On Tuesday, it seems that around 1,300 ISIS fighters routed 30,000 Iraqi government troops at Mosul. Remember back in 2004 when General David Petraeus claimed his mission to train Iraqis was a success?

    Training ostensibly became the number one mission of the U.S. occupation:
    ‘As Iraqis Stand Up, We Will Stand Down,’ Bush Tells Nation

    Jim White on FDL:

    Less than three years later, of course, Petraeus then led the political spin surrounding his “surge” in Iraq, sending in more troops and starting anew on the training mission. The previous claims of training success were discarded without note and training started all over.

    The United States spent nearly $25 billion in its efforts to train and equip the Iraqi security forces over the last decade. It’s pretty clear that mission was a failure.

    This morning the Iraqi ambassador appeared on Chuck Todd’s MSNBC show to ask for… more training and weapons! Does he really think Americans will be happy to replace the weaponry Iraqi soldiers turned over to ISIS? More to the point, Iraq is a close ally of Iran. Maybe they can ask the Iranians for help.

    The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported that Tehran has deployed two battalions of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to take on ISIS. “Combined Iraqi-Iranian forces had retaken control across 85% of Tikrit, the birthplace of former dictator Saddam Hussein, according to Iraqi and Iranian security sources,” the Journal said, adding that they were also “helping guard the capital Baghdad and the two cities of Najaf and Karbala.”

    • #7 by brewski on June 13, 2014 - 10:44 am

      Remind me again who became Commander in Chief in January of 2009?

      • #8 by Richard Warnick on June 13, 2014 - 11:04 am

        That would be Barack Obama, and I don’t envy him. He inherited two misbegotten unwinnable wars halfway around the world, not to mention an economy in free fall and an opposition party with nihilistic tendencies.

  7. #9 by cav on June 13, 2014 - 11:39 am

    Nuthing to write here that’ll get through the filters. Just a little too liberal I guess.

    • #10 by Larry Bergan on June 13, 2014 - 4:51 pm

      Hope you’re not having too much trouble, cav. I’ve been losing comments in the spam filter lately. Very annoying.

  8. #11 by Larry Bergan on June 13, 2014 - 4:56 pm

    I wouldn’t want to be Obama in this situation. No matter what he does, the wingers are going to do everything they can think of, to convince everybody that he’s doing the exact wrong thing, even if they know he isn’t.

    Great Americans.

    • #12 by Nathan Erkkila on June 14, 2014 - 12:57 am

      Then he must do the right thing. And by that, I mean he needs to stay out of Iraq.

      • #13 by Larry Bergan on June 14, 2014 - 6:05 pm

        We never should have gone into Iraq, and we should just stay out.

  9. #14 by cav on June 13, 2014 - 8:23 pm

    I get bunches of ‘duplicate comment detected’, then poof…down the memory hole. Copying them back into the comment box, rinse, repeat. Like electing republicans

    • #15 by Nathan Erkkila on June 14, 2014 - 12:58 am

      I’ll see what I can do. I honestly don’t know how Cliff sets up his sever and the network he runs it on, but if he is reading, I am more than willing to help out.

  10. #16 by cav on June 14, 2014 - 10:28 am

    just cain’t get through!

    • #17 by Richard Warnick on June 14, 2014 - 5:43 pm

      I e-mailed Cliff. He’s going to look at the problem. For me, the comment links beneath the post are disabled, but I can go to the comment history on the right column and get in that way and write comments.

  11. #18 by Larry Bergan on June 14, 2014 - 6:01 pm

    I’ve been clicking on the heading to get in. I’ve had the same problem cav’s had; nothing shows up when you submit and if you try to send it again you get the “comment duplicated” warning, but the messages are going into the spam filter. I found a couple of mine there. I had to click on “not spam” and then release it from the dashboard.

    The problem is that if you don’t catch it quickly it gets buried in real spam. Right now, there are 1,200, and I just cleared it out last night.

  12. #19 by Richard Warnick on June 14, 2014 - 7:21 pm

    I think it’s interesting that MSNBC (which covered the final U.S. withdrawal from Iraq LIVE as it happened) waited two days before really trying to address the fall of Mosul. To their credit, NBC has Richard Engel there now (in Erbil, which is safer than Baghdad). None of the other networks have reporters in Iraq at all.

  13. #20 by Richard Warnick on June 14, 2014 - 7:42 pm

    The Cheap, Deadly Weapon That’s Better At Killing Civilians Than Fighting Terrorists

    Until this week, I hadn’t heard the term “barrel bomb” (aka “flying IED”). Apparently Sudan began using them in 2011, and now they are common in both Syria and Iraq. The barrel bomb is a terror weapon being used by the Iraqi government to kill civilians on a large scale.

    • #21 by Larry Bergan on June 14, 2014 - 9:30 pm

      Looking at the picture, I can’t see how that barrel could be made to fly, unless it’s dropped from a plane. What gives?

      • #22 by Nathan Erkkila on June 15, 2014 - 5:00 am

        As resources get exhausted, the country improvises with such devices. Unfortunately this type of weapon is unguided and I doubt their migs can have them fitted on let alone have their trajectory programmed in. This makes the weapon very unbiased.

        Welcome to war.

      • #23 by Richard Warnick on June 15, 2014 - 9:03 am

        Larry– They drop barrel bombs from cargo planes and helicopters. The Iraqi Air Force currently has no jet aircraft except for some F-16s that haven’t been delivered yet.

  14. #26 by brewski on June 14, 2014 - 9:08 pm

    It won’t let me post at all.

  15. #28 by Larry Bergan on June 15, 2014 - 12:46 pm

    Here’s a really good, informed rant about the war hawks from a site called “Stonekettle Station”.

    The article is called “Absolutely Nothing“. (derived from the anti-war song).

  16. #29 by cav on June 15, 2014 - 6:21 pm

    My Veteran status predates the Great Tahitian Banana War,

  17. #31 by cav on June 15, 2014 - 7:09 pm

    : )
    Re-living all this is a shit sandwich nightmare. All the old arguments. All the crap laid on Obama’s head that belongs on Bush’s. And not one person able to say “I predicted this” except progressives, whom no one pays the least bit of attention to anyway.

  18. #32 by cav on June 15, 2014 - 7:11 pm

    : )
    I can hit the spam filter, but not the blog. Hooray me!!

  19. #33 by cav on June 15, 2014 - 7:11 pm

    Re-living all this is a shit sandwich nightmare. All the old arguments. All the crap laid on Obama’s head that belongs on Bush’s. And not one person able to say “I predicted this” except progressives, whom no one pays the least bit of attention to anyway.

  20. #34 by cav on June 15, 2014 - 7:12 pm

    Mind checking again?

    • #35 by cav on June 15, 2014 - 7:16 pm

      I have any idea. Just stay by the filter.if it has my name on it – circulate it up here. TIA

  21. #36 by cav on June 15, 2014 - 7:17 pm

    Don’t know why these diddly, good-for-nuthin comments take, but nuthin more substantive. It’s like twitter.

  22. #37 by cav on June 15, 2014 - 7:21 pm

    We have met the enemy…and it is twitter.

  23. #38 by cav on June 15, 2014 - 7:22 pm

    Soon I’ll develop into an A-list twit.

  24. #39 by cav on June 15, 2014 - 8:24 pm

    “What Iraq needs now to restore peace and tranquility is a tax cut” – GWB

  25. #40 by Larry Bergan on June 15, 2014 - 9:12 pm

    Almost hated to release your longer comment, cav. The cav-twitter-feed is getting pretty funny.

    Almost didn’t get it though. There were already 127 spams since I cleared it out a couple of hours ago. I had to go back fairly far to find your comment.

    I had another one go in the bin today too. :(

    • #41 by Larry Bergan on June 15, 2014 - 9:13 pm

      That one went through just fine. Go figure.

    • #42 by cav on June 15, 2014 - 10:17 pm

      I had no idea the spam built up so fast. Must shake up the NaSA.

  26. #43 by lake of fire on June 15, 2014 - 9:59 pm

    The site is run on a desktop dinosaur.

  27. #44 by cav on June 15, 2014 - 10:15 pm

    Or dinosaur desktop…when it runs at all.

  28. #45 by cav on June 16, 2014 - 8:29 am

    I’d buy my kid some school lunches, but it seems I have to blow more shit up in Iraq.

    Priorities.

  29. #46 by Larry Bergan on June 16, 2014 - 8:54 am

    The non-armed terrorists/peacenicks in THIS country better start acting up so we can keep the money here. We can’t let Cliven Bundy do all the work.

    It’s a good thing it’s 2014. A couple of years earlier and people wouldn’t have any idea what I was talking about.

  30. #47 by cav on June 16, 2014 - 9:42 am

    It’s really on the 60% who aren’t full on crazee. But Taking to the streets and blogging haven’t had the desired effect on those with all the money. And, the good folks surrounding Bundy may have been just a tad abrasive, maybe even part of the other 40%.

    • #50 by cav on June 16, 2014 - 2:59 pm

      So many murderous nutcases…so few time-slots on the $eriou$ $unday Propaganda outlets.

    • #51 by Larry Bergan on June 16, 2014 - 6:12 pm

      If my house was on fire and Bill Kristol advised me to call the fire department, I wouldn’t call. I would know that I had done the right thing somehow. Same with all the other retired generals and scumbags who wanted Bush-the-lesser’s damned, failed governance and wars.

  31. #52 by cav on June 16, 2014 - 7:15 pm

    If your house were on fire and Bill Kristol were anywhere near, have him detained. Suspicion of arson.

  32. #53 by Larry Bergan on June 16, 2014 - 7:21 pm

    I don’t know what it is about Krystol. He just seems to get sort of giddy when he promotes death.

    Is it just me?

  33. #54 by cav on June 16, 2014 - 9:45 pm

    If he’s on his ‘A’ game he’ll have successfully convinced you to set your own house ablaze – even douse it with a little Middle East crude for a quick start.

  34. #55 by Richard Warnick on June 17, 2014 - 12:32 pm

    ISIS Militants Seize Iraq’s Strategic Town of Tal Afar

    Tal Afar’s capture comes a week after Sunni militants took Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, and Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit in a lightning offensive that has plunged Iraq into its worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops.

    A resident in Tal Afar, 260 miles northwest of Baghdad, confirmed the town’s fall and said over the telephone that militants in pickup trucks mounted with machineguns and flying black jihadi banners were roaming the streets as gunfire rang out.

    The local security force left the town before dawn, said Hadeer al-Abadi, who spoke to the AP as he prepared to head out of town with his family. Local tribesmen who continued to fight later surrendered to the militants, he said.

    “Residents are gripped by fear and most of them have already left the town for areas held by Kurdish security forces,” al-Abadi said.

  35. #56 by nice wrack! on June 18, 2014 - 9:16 pm

    My grandpa used to say if you go to war and fake the moral imperative, no matter how equipped, in time your enemy will defeat you with a wet noodle.

    After faggot drone murder cowardice and expediency it’s wet noodle time.

    Chef Boy Ardee could whip our ass by now.

    • #57 by Richard Warnick on June 19, 2014 - 9:01 am

      The illegal invasion of Iraq, according to the neocons, was supposed to result in a democratic, peaceful, unitary country allied with the USA (and Israel, let’s not forget). Oil profits would pay for the operation, they said.

      Instead, the U.S. invasion and occupation brought about a sectarian dictatorship, insurgency, breakup of Iraq into three warring sections, and a government in Baghdad that’s allied with Iran. Taxpayers are on the hook for at least $1.7 trillion so far.

  36. #58 by cav on June 19, 2014 - 10:15 am

    If I could only ‘handle’ the truth. but, alas…

  37. #59 by nice wrack! on June 19, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    You forgot murdering people and destroying about the only modern country in the Arab Mideast.

  38. #60 by cav on June 19, 2014 - 1:52 pm

    Well, yes. There IS that, But, really, that’s all Cheney’s doing. Isn’t it?

    taxpayer of what ever stripe

  39. #61 by cav on June 19, 2014 - 3:10 pm

    “Rarely has a US President been so wrong….” Indeed, Mr. Cheney. Thank goodness George Bush is gone.

    Wasn’t the agreement to get out of Iraq between the Bush Administration and the Maliki Administration?

    (rhetorical question, of course.) from the Wiki:

    The U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (official name: Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq On the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq) was a status of forces agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the United States, signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. It established that U.S. combat forces would withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. forces will be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011

  40. #62 by cav on June 19, 2014 - 3:17 pm

    “Rarely has a US President been so wrong….” Indeed, Mr. Cheney. Not putting Shrub et al on trial for war crimes.

  41. #63 by cav on June 19, 2014 - 7:53 pm

    Larry enters the office, heads directly to the spam bucket.

    Thanks

  42. #64 by Richard Warnick on June 22, 2014 - 11:55 pm

    NYT: Iraq’s Military Seen as Unlikely to Turn the Tide

    Michael Knights, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, wrote recently that 60 out of 243 Iraqi Army combat battalions “cannot be accounted for, and all of their equipment is lost.”

    …With an estimated 10,000 fighters, ISIS has been able to seize stores of military equipment and plan small offensive missions that, when coupled with a propaganda campaign, have proved highly effective. When the militants overran Mosul they captured the second-largest ammunition storage site in Iraq, which one expert described as a “Walmart of ammunition.”

    The militants also captured 52 artillery pieces, including Howitzers, which were abandoned by Iraqi troops as they fled south. It is unclear if ISIS can figure out how to use them, but if it did so that would add to its already substantial firepower.

(will not be published)


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